Sept. 21 gala will launch faculty concert series

CDFAC_Leppard - 2014 opener 10th anniversary - web

Maestro Raymond Leppard (center) leads UIndy faculty and students and guest performers during the opening gala of last year’s Faculty Artist Concert Series.

UIndy’s acclaimed Faculty Artist Concert Series will formally launch its 35th season with a gala event Sept. 21 featuring conductor Raymond Leppard and a new composition commissioned especially for the occasion.

As announced at last year’s opening gala, which celebrated 20 years of UIndy’s Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, Associate Professor John Berners was commissioned to write a piece of new music honoring philanthropist and longtime UIndy trustee Christel DeHaan, whose generosity made the center possible. That composition, Sinfonia, will premiere during the Sept. 21 program conducted by Leppard, who has been artist-in-residence at the center since its opening in 1994.

The Faculty Artist Concert Series is a unique treasure on the central Indiana arts scene, presenting historic and contemporary classical and jazz music free of charge in the elegant and acoustically superior setting of the DeHaan Center’s Ruth Lilly Performance Hall. This year’s 18 concerts, taking place Monday nights from September to April, will feature UIndy’s distinguished Department of Music faculty as well as guests drawn from the ranks of local and national professionals.

More information on the series is available at (317) 788-3255. The full 2015-2016 schedule follows.

New Music for Guitar
Monday, September 14, 7:30 p.m.

Nemenja Ostojić, guitar

Acclaimed guitarist Nemanja Ostojić, winner of 16 international competitions, presents a program of new works written for him by award-winning composers such as Jonathan Godfery, Michael Karmon, and Guido Sanchez-Portuguez. Ostojić will perform on a new instrument, built by guitarmaker Slavko Mrdalj, that combines cedar wood with carbon fiber reinforcements to create a powerful sound and wide palette of tone colors.

Gala Opening Concert with Maestro Raymond Leppard
Monday, September 21, 7:30 p.m.

Featuring Raymond Leppard, Artist-in-Residence, University of Indianapolis, and Conductor Laureate, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Richard Ratliff, piano; Kathleen Hacker, soprano; Mitzi Westra, mezzo-soprano; University of Indianapolis Festival Orchestra; University Choral Ensembles

Maestro Raymond Leppard returns to the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall with music of Mozart, Vivaldi, and the premiere of a new work by UIndy’s John Berners. The evening opens with Mozart: Richard Ratliff performing the E-flat Concerto, K. 449. Next is John Berners’ new Sinfonia, a piece commissioned last year by the University of Indianapolis in honor of philanthropist Christel DeHaan to celebrate 20 years of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. With Paul Krasnovsky, Maestro Leppard talks about his distinguished career of more than 60 years, then leads University choral ensembles and the Festival Orchestra in music of Antonio Vivaldi: the popular Gloria, RV 589, with faculty soloists Kathleen Hacker and Mitzi Westra.

Maestro Leppard, one of the most respected international conductors of our time, has appeared with practically all the world’s leading orchestras in his six decades on the podium. He has conducted more than 170 recordings, earning five Grammy awards, a Grand Prix Mondial du Disque, a Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, and an Edison Prize. Recent travels have taken him to the orchestras of Warsaw, Budapest, Granada, the Scottish National Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools, the Colorado Symphony, and the La Jolla Music Society in California.

Jazz Standards
Monday, September 28, 7:30 p.m.

Freddie Mendoza, trombone; Nick Tucker, bass; Kenny Phelps, drums

UIndy Director of Jazz Studies Freddie Mendoza has performed with many of the greatest names in jazz for the past quarter century, including appearances at the renowned North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival. He heads a cast of area all-stars for an evening of jazz standards and more modern fare.

Dynamic Duos
Monday, October 5, 7:30 p.m.

Mitzi Westra, mezzo-soprano; Nemanja Ostojić, guitar; Austin Hartman, violin; Minju Choi, piano; Tamara Thweatt, flute; Dennis McCafferty, cello; Larry Powell, trumpet; Paul Berns, percussion

Faculty collaborate in compelling works of the duo repertory from the 20th and 21st centuries: the recent song cycle “A Late Night Walk” for mezzo-soprano and guitar by Michael Karmon; the Fourth Sonata for violin and piano (“Children’s Day at the Camp Meeting”) by Charles Ives; and Assobio a Játo (“The Jet Whistle”) for flute and cello by Heitor Villa-Lobos. The program concludes with Anthony Cirone’s Sonata No. 2 for trumpet and percussion.

UIndy Brass
Monday, October 12, 7:30 p.m.

Larry Powell, Vu Nguyen, Brenda Clark, trumpets; Ashley Cumming, horn; Freddie Mendoza, trombone; Glen Dimick, tuba; Rebecca Sorley, piano

UIndy brass faculty present an evening of solos, duos, trios, quintets, and sextets chosen from the standard repertoire, along with recent works and transcriptions.

Old World, New World
Monday, November 2, 7:30 p.m.

Austin Hartman, violin; Dennis McCafferty, cello; Richard Ratliff, piano; Nemanja Ostojić, guitar; Anne Reynolds, flute; Pamela French, oboe; Cathryn Gross, clarinet; Mark Ortwein, bassoon; Darin Sorley, horn; Ashley Cumming, horn

French neoclassicism, the tango inspirations of Astor Piazzolla, and an 1882 masterwork of Johannes Brahms animate this lively evening of chamber music. Darin Sorley and Ashley Cumming open the concert with Verne Reynolds’ Call for two horns; our woodwind faculty team for the 1933 Quartet of Jean Francaix; and Anne Reynolds and Nemenja Ostojić perform selections from Piazzolla’s “Histoire du Tango.” The evening concludes with one of the glories of the late 19th century: Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major, Op. 87.

Opera Night
Monday, November 9, 7:30 p.m.

Kathleen Hacker, soprano; Mitzi Westra, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Narducci, baritone; Gregory Martin, piano

Once again, the UIndy voice faculty comes together for an evening of highlights from the opera oeuvre. From Mozart to Donizetti, and from Handel to Argento, Kathleen Hacker, Daniel Narducci, and Mitzi Westra will treat you to a night of enjoyable vocal ensembles and solos.

Classics to Moderns
Monday, November 16, 7:30 p.m.

Tamara Thweatt, flute; Darin Sorley, horn; Rebecca Sorley, piano; Richard Ratliff, piano; Mitzi Westra, mezzo-soprano

New Century String Quartet: Dean Franke and Lisa Scott, violins; Susan Chan, viola; Dennis McCafferty, cello

Faculty and guests present a varied evening of ensemble works, with the European “high classical” style sharing the stage with important works of the past century. Rebecca Sorley and Richard Ratliff open with Mozart for four hands: the energetic Sonata, K. 381. The New Century quartet performs the dramatic Eighth Quartet of Shostakovich, a work dedicated to the victims of war and fascism. Mitzi Westra joins the quartet for Tan Dun’s “A Sinking Love”; the evening concludes with Eric Ewazen’s Ballade, Pastorale, and Dance for flute, horn, and piano.

Baroque to the Beatles
Monday, November 23, 7:30 p.m.

Pamela French, oboe; Li Li, viola; Gregory Martin, piano; Tamara Thweatt, Baroque flute; Scotty Stepp, alto saxophone; Art Reiner Trio: Kevin Anker, piano; Jonathan Wood, bass; Art Reiner, drums

Faculty and guests explore a richly diverse musical landscape, from Telemann for solo flute to the jazz, pop, and soul inspirations of the popular Art Reiner Trio. Pamela French and Gregory Martin welcome guest Li Li for the best of the late Romantic tradition: German-American composer Charles Martin Loeffler’s Two Rhapsodies from 1901. Representing the more avant garde, Scotty Stepp performs “Mai” for solo saxophone by Japanese composer Ryo Noda.

Molto Piano
Monday, January 25, 7:30 p.m.

Minju Choi, Sharon Parr, Rebecca Sorley, piano

UIndy’s faculty piano ensemble, Molto Piano, presents its 12th annual “Words with Music” concert, “Dances and Other Delights.” Featured works include the Allegro Brillante of Felix Mendelssohn, Dolly Suite by Gabriel Fauré, and dances by Samuel Barber, Francis Poulenc, and Igor Stravinsky.

Together Again
Monday, February 1, 7:30 p.m.

Kathleen Hacker, soprano; Sylvia Patterson Scott, piano

Kathleen Hacker and Sylvia Patterson Scott join forces once more in an evening of music for voice and piano. Listen to beautiful art songs from throughout the history of song, featuring their favorite composers and perhaps some of yours.

Celebrating the History of Indiana Through Music
Monday, February 15, 7:30 p.m.

Rebecca Sorley, piano; Allegra Sorley, piano; Ted Frantz, historian

Rebecca Sorley joins forces with historian and UIndy professor Ted Frantz to celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial with music and historical background about the Hoosier state. Featured in this multi-media performance: music from the state’s centennial, ragtime pieces by Indiana women composers, selections by Hoagy Carmichael, and duo performances of Cole Porter favorites with pianist Allegra Sorley.

Science, Math, and Music
Monday, February 22, 7:30 p.m.

Continuing UIndy’s partnership with the Ronen Chamber Ensemble, “Science, Math, and Music” is a program devoted to investigating the intersection of these sundry disciplines. Concepts such as the Fibonacci sequence, combinatoriality, and Kepler’s laws of planetary motion wil be explored through the prism of Bartók’s Sonata for two pianos and percussion, Holst’s “The Planets,” Anton Webern’s Quartet for clarinet, violin, tenor saxophone, and piano, and Praeludium by UIndy composer John Berners, among others.

Heroes and Villains
Monday, February 29, 7:30 p.m.

Daniel Narducci, baritone; Gregory Martin, piano

Baritone Daniel Narducci sings songs and themes that illustrate iconic heroes and villains. From the classic heroes of ancient Greece, to the chivalrous deeds of Don Quixote and the devious antics of Captain Hook, this recital celebrates the characters that we all love and loathe. Songs by Franz Schubert, Jacques Ibert, Leonard Bernstein, and many others will be featured in this survey of characters light and dark.

Chamber Evening
Monday, March 7, 7:30 p.m.

Minju Choi, piano; Michelle Kang, violin; Amy Kniffen, viola; Kurt Fowler, cello; Austin Hartman, violin; Richard Ratliff, piano; Tamara Thweatt, flute; David Bellman, clarinet; Davis Brooks, violin; Paul Berns, percussion; Vu Nguyen, conductor

Exuberant Mozart, a recent work of American Anthony Cheung, and a major French work of the late 19th century highlight this varied evening. Austin Hartman and Richard Ratliff open with Mozart’s energetic C-Major Sonata, K. 296. Vu Nguyen leads the larger ensemble in Anthony Cheung’s “Enjamb, Infuse, Implode” from 2006. Minju Choi welcomes guests Michelle Kang, Amy Kniffen, and Kurt Fowler for Gabriel Fauré’s Quartet No. 2 in G minor for piano and strings.

Into the Celtic Twilight
Monday, March 21, 7:30 p.m.

Gregory Martin, piano

The misty imaginings of the Celtic fringes are explored in a program that moves from ancient bardic impulses (Bax’s “What the Minstrel Told Us” and Brahms’s Ossianic first ballade) to orthodox Christianity (including excerpts from Vaughan Williams’s Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes). Also featured are Robert Hatten’s suite Éadaoin, a lyrical portrayal of the many sides of the mythological Irish heroine, and the premiere of Gregory Martin’s cycle on Yeats’s poetry, “A Poet to his Beloved.”

The Pleasant King: Songs of Spring and the Seasons
Monday, March 28, 7:30 p.m.

Elisabeth Hoegberg, piano; Mitzi Westra, mezzo-soprano

Mitzi Westra and Elisabeth Hoegberg celebrate the arrival of spring in music for voice and piano, featuring spring-themed Lieder of Schumann, Wolf, and Brahms. The remaining seasons are showcased in Les Saisons of Albéniz and Tchaikovsky for solo piano, with works by Dominick Argento, John Duke, and Charles Ives offered as additional seasonal fare.

Season Finale
Monday, April 4, 7:30 p.m.

Austin Hartman, violin; Dennis McCafferty, cello; Richard Ratliff, piano; Anne Reynolds, flute; Tamara Thweatt, flute; Cathryn Gross, clarinet; Mark Ortwein, bassoon; Paul Berns, percussion; Jack Brennan, percussion; Kathleen Hacker, soprano; Freddie Mendoza, trombone; James Loughery, piano; Nick Tucker, bass

Our season finale features American music and European classics from the 18th through 20th centuries, opening with Mozart’s lively Piano Trio in C Major, K. 548. Our distinguished wind faculty performs Walter Piston’s Three Pieces for flute, clarinet, and bassoon (1925), while Tamara Thweatt joins Paul Berns and Jack Brennan for Lou Harrison’s Concerto for flute and percussion. Freddie Mendoza leads the combo in jazz standards to conclude the evening, with featured vocals from Kathleen Hacker.